Under the Lights Flag Football offers both girls’ and boys’ leagues for young athletes.

Under Armour’s Under the Lights Flag Football is hosting its fall season opener on Friday, September 15. While the organization has both boys’ and girls’ leagues, it is making history with the first all-girls flag football league in the area.

“We are making history not with just one girls flag team but an entire league dedicated to growing the girls’ game that has swept the nation,” Commissioner Jeremy King said. “… Our goal is to introduce the game and develop girls for the next level of competition so they can earn a higher level of education while playing the sport they love.”

The league will be coached by about 60 coaches spanning from former professional athletes to teachers to parents.

“Seeing parents cheer and support their kids and others makes everything worth it to us. As adults, we rarely remember the scores or even number of championships won,” King said. “It’s the friendships, family and love for sports that we remember and pass on to our kids as we grow older.”

Each of the six vs. six teams will have around eight to 10 boys or girls to ensure each athlete has an opportunity to play.

King chose to start the league after his daughter fell in love with flag football. He found there were many coed options and the girls only teams only had a few teams in the division.

“After watching her love for the game dwindle to a spectator and hearing from other parents they wanted better options, I chose to do something about it in a big way,” King said.

Every summer, before the season starts, Under the Lights offers free workouts that encourage kids to stay active and make friends with those in their community. There are no tryouts or drafts to allow all athletes an opportunity to participate and develop their talents.

King is expecting around 400 athletes to participate in the inaugural season. Athletes are supported by a number of sponsors in the area, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and several schools in the area. The program also offers a scholarship in memory of Noah Pollock, a former Carrollwood Under the Lights League student.

“My goal is to change the way youth sports looks and feels. There has been a quite absence with youth sports leagues and community involvement,” King said. “My goal is to provide a professional, quality and meaningful sports experience for kids.”

For more information about Under the Lights Flag Football, visit www.uaflag.com.

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Lily Belcher
Lily Belcher is a writer for the Osprey Observer. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey Observer since completing her internship. Lily is majoring in mass communications at the University of South Florida and is a staff writer for the university’s paper, The Oracle. She enjoys writing about local nonprofit organizations and community role models who have made an impact on her hometown.